Finding your own piece of British Columbia paradise is easy when you venture to some of the lesser-known parts this province has to offer. With over 55 provincial parks to choose from and significantly fewer visitors than those of the Lower Mainland or the Rocky Mountains, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is the perfect destination for your urban escape.
Spanning from the Central Coast to the Cariboo Mountains and south to the Fraser Canyon, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast has a landscape to fit everyone’s preference. Whether you find yourself amongst the forests, fjords, mountain peaks, or grassy plateaus, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast has it all. Not to mention tons of spots for fishing, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and photography opportunities.
If the thought of choosing from over 55 provincial parks is giving you adventure overload, here’s a breakdown of 4 of our most untouched and untamed parks that you should add to your hiking and camping bucket list:
Chasm Provincial Park
Chasm Provincial Park is located on the Gold Rush Trail near Clinton, BC. From the 1850s, men and women made the journey north from Vancouver all the way up to Prince George in search of striking gold. Although your chances of finding gold today are limited, the Gold Rush Trail features dozens of under-utilized parks for you to explore.
Chasm Provincial Park is best known for its rich geology and brightly coloured canyon walls. Over the past 10 million years, these steep walls have been carved out to reveal ancient lava flows. As a result, breathtaking layers of red, brown, yellow and purple rock can be found along the cliffs. From many viewpoints within the park, you have the chance to see the cliffs as well as an incredible valley that was carved out by the last ice age. Left in its place was the 8 km long, 600-metre wide and 300-metre deep chasm that gives the park its name. Protected forests of ponderosa pine, as well as many lakes in the surrounding area, offer you an array of hiking and photography opportunities. If you’re in need of a treat after all that hiking, try visiting The Sugar Shack in nearby 70 Mile House. A little piece of Quebec in the heart of BC; and be sure to not miss out on their legendary maple syrup or the “best poutine west of Quebec.”
Bridge Lake Provincial Park
Despite being a lot smaller than Chasm Provincial Park, Bridge Lake Provincial Park is an oasis for lake lovers. The park is located 51km east of 100 Mile House in BC’s Land of Hidden Waters. For any of you anglers out there, this is an ideal spot to visit, as Bridge Lake contains rainbow trout, kokanee, and burbot. Please remember that a recreational freshwater licence is required at all of our provincial parks!
Aside from fishing, the lake is also used for canoeing, swimming and boat recreation. There is a paved single-boat launch provided at the lake’s day-use area. Additionally, there are many secluded trails surrounding the lake that are excellent for horseback riding, cycling, and hiking. Wildlife viewing is also possible, as the Cariboo is home to bear, foxes, coyotes, mule deer, mink and river otters. Bridge Lake Provincial Park also contains a small first-come, first-served, non-reservable campground, perfect for your backcountry escape.
Marble Range Provincial Park
Found amongst unique limestone karst formations and on the edge of the Cariboo Plateau is Marble Range Provincial Park. This hidden gem is rugged, off the beaten path, and a trailblazer’s dream. The park features various caves, sinkholes, disappearing streams, cliffs, chasms, and crenellated ridges to make what is said to be some of the best hiking in the interior. Because the park is underused, trail maintenance isn’t always frequent, so it is recommended that hikers bring a topographic map and GPS when hiking as some paths may become obscured. California Bighorn Sheep and mule deer frequent the area and feed on the rare plants found in the calcium-rich soils while also calling the old-growth Douglas-firs, spruce, lodgepole and whitebark pine home. The park is open for day-use and camping and located under 6 hours from Vancouver.
Tweedsmuir Provincial Park
Located in the Great Bear Rainforest, Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is one of BC’s largest parks. It offers some of the most dramatic scenery in all of North America, but due to its remoteness, few people go there. To make it easier on you, check out this Great Bear Rainforest loop article to help plan your road trip and maximize all there is to see and do. Tweedsmuir is known for its incredible peralkaline volcanic shield ranges, epic waterfalls like Hunlen Falls, and abundance of grizzly bear viewing. Additional to the park’s incredible topography, Tweedsmuir is a mecca for outdoor recreationists. There are numerous opportunities for hiking, cycling, hunting (in certain areas), and horseback riding. The Turner Lake Canoe Circuit is also a BC bucket-list excursion for intermediate to advanced paddlers.
As always, we recommend doing your research and knowing before you go. Visit our responsible travel page for more information and common packing essentials.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region is truly a land without limits, so why not explore your own backyard and road trip BC’s roads less travelled?
Dust off your camping gear and hiking boots, and start browsing our latest specials to plan your next weekend escape in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast – we promise it’s worth the trip!